Authors Tia Tormen and C.K. Stone

Authors Tia Tormen and C.K. Stone
November 6, 2016 2 Comments For Authors, Interviews Stephanie Ayers

Our Write Side meets many authors, both online and in real life. We are enthralled with the two authors we interview today, both writers with many talents to share with the writing community. We first introduced you to Tia Tormen via her Goodreads giveaway post, but today, we go in depth with both her and her writing partner, C.K. Stone.

Name: Tia Tormen and co-author CK Stone
Latest Release: Hidden Design, the Prophecy
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy-thriller with strong elements of erotica and horror
Warning: This book is intended for mature audiences. It contains scenes of graphic sex and violence. 
C.K. StoneCK Stone is a snarky, sarcastic pain in the aa–never mind. He dislikes having to write bios, but is willing to talk in person about himself for extended periods of time. Among other things, he is an actor with a few indie films and some extra work to his name; he is also a cartoonist, a writer of florid prose, assorted lyric poetry, haiku and is the producer of a mixed bag of Limericks. He has nothing published under the name “CK Stone” until now, but has several short stories published under the name on his day-job paycheck.  The publications include a story in the anthology “TV Gods” and another in “A Realm Beyond,” both from Fortress Publishing. There are two short stories published in “Triangulation” from Parsec INK and another piece in “Six from Parsec”  His prize-winning story “The Thithshtach Diner” was also published in the ezine “Speculon.” He even has clean (!) limericks published in a chapbook. CK has also read stories for podcasts for Psuedopod.
An avid reader of science fiction and fantasy and eldritch horror for years, he is active in the SF/F community in the Pittsburgh area. He also accompanies Tia to Tang Soo Do and is certified for his black belt test in Haidong Gumdo. Other evenings, he participates in the same writing and critique group as Tia, where he spends time convincing other writers that he knows what he’s doing. 
You can find CK lurking about on: Facebook | Goodreads
You can follow Tia and CK on their blog:
tia-tormen-headshot_72dpiTia Tormen is a writer, photographer, graphic designer, videographer, video editor, make-up artist and poet. She has also studied psychology and loves to do dream interpretation. She spends her days working a regular job and her early mornings and evenings writing. When she isn’t writing she can be found doing photography on the weekends or studying the ancient martial arts, Tang Soo Do Karate and Haidong Gumdo Sword in the evenings, or attending her writing and critique group, Write or Die. She is a mother of five children and has enjoyed every insane minute. 
Her loves include double chocolate chunk ice cream, Dove dark chocolate, her children and CK, of course. Her favorite quote is from the RHPS; “Don’t dream it . . . be it!” She firmly believes that life is what you make it and is living her life to the fullest.
She has two fine art photography books available: Naked in the Light, books one and two. Both are available on Amazon.
Tia Tormen can be found here: Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Amazon
1. How long have you been writing?
CK: Oy, I feel like I’ve been been writing for a loooonnnngggg time. I wrote stories when I was a kid, wrote and drew comics and eventually got away from it. I worked at being an actor for while, which is still story telling of a sort. Then I wrote a fan fic almost 20 years ago, just to see if I could do it and finish it, and I’ve been doing it ever since. Not the fan fic, just the writing. 
2. What kind(s) of writing do you do? 
Tia: I don’t believe in limiting myself.  Usually I write whatever strikes my fancy at the moment. I’ve written short stories, flash fiction, the novel,  poetry,  erotica, fantasy, horror, inspirational and even a fable. 
3. What are your goals as a writer, both small and large?
CK: Pretty much across the board, my goals are to finish what I start, tell a good, entertaining story and improve my skill every time. I would be very happy to find and enjoy a degree of success as I do it also. 
4. What inspires you? 
Tia: Thats a tough question. So many different things can inspire me. Sometimes it’s something as simple as a new experience. Sometimes it’s a memory of something I want to capture and hold on to. There are so many experiences that we have every day and so many people we meet on our path through this life. I like to hold on to some of them by putting them into my writing. 
Click cover to buy!

Click cover to buy!

5. Have you ever fallen in love with a character? Tell us about this romance.

CK: Wow. Fallen in love with one of my characters or somebody else’s? Yes, I’ve fallen in love with both. I have characters that I’ve written that I absolutely loved. One is in a series of stories that may never see the light of day, but he is a wizard over 35k years old. He was born at the time the human species was making the evolutionary jump from Neanderthal to Cro Magnon. He had been around so long that there was nothing that intimidated him.  He seemed so arrogant and so fully in command of his life that it was fun to show just exactly how different he really was from the image he propagated. Other authors characters. . . Mycroft from Heinlein’s “The Moon is Harsh Mistress.” Who doesn’t cry when the break-down of power and infrastructure happens? Oh, and I absolutely adore Susan Sto Helit – Death’s Granddaughter from Terry Pratchett’s Disc World series. Gorgeous in a severe sort of way, I suppose, and doesn’t put up with a lot of nonsense, but a heart as big as her grandfather’s domain. 
Sorry, no romance. 
6. How do you find or make time to write? 
Tia: I definitely have to set aside time to write. I work a part time, regular job, but also have teenage children that still require a significant amount of attention. I try to schedule time to write and if that doesn’t work, I just work in the writing whenever I can. 
7. Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.
CK: I don’t think I favor either over the other. A lot of it depends on the needs of the story. Sometimes I start with a firm plan and scads of notes and work from there. Sometimes I have a vague idea where I want the story to go, sit down and start writing. In either case, I often find myself surprised at where the muse takes me. Outlines are good as long as you don’t let them become the dictators of content. Organic construction is good as long as you don’t let it become reason something doesn’t get finished.  
8. Who would play you in your life story?
Tia: I’m not sure there is anyone out there that is similar enough to me, that they could capture the incredibly diverse and unique person I am! I think the universe broke the mold after making me, figuring one me is probably enough for anyone to have to deal with. Lol j/k. I’ve always liked Charlize Theron as a kick-ass actress, but Julianne Moore looks more like me. If I could combine the two, they would come close to being my perfect me. 
9. What projects are you working on at the moment?
CK: Stories, stories, and more stories, some books and maybe a good night’s sleep. Oh, and a new roof
10. What process did you go through to get your work published? 
Tia: That, is a very long and involved story, but I’ll see if I can write a digest version. Hidden Design took ten years to write (not kidding). It started out as an idea to write a book similar to what Penelope Ashe did in 1969; get together a bunch of people from our writers’ group, have them each write one chapter of the book—with the caveat that all the chapters must contain a sex scene—and then compile the chapters into one novel. We started out with thirteen writers, ranging in age from twenty-one to fifty-two years of age. A few of the writers did write chapters and submit them for consideration, but somewhere along the way most of the writers lost interest in the novel and it fell to the wayside. About six years ago I came across the old manuscripts and put out a call to the original members of the writing group, asking if they wanted to help complete the novel. Only two did. We threw out anything written by anyone not actively involved in the continuation of the story and then spent two years revising, rewriting and polishing the story until we felt it was reasonably ready for a publishing house or agent. We spent the next year sending out the MS to publishing houses and agencies. I must have sent the MS out to no less than twenty-five agents and about fifty publishing houses—I kid you not. We finally found an agent willing to represent the novel, but not the authors. The novel then sat with the agency for two years, without us ever seeing a contract from this agency. After multiple queries to the agent that was representing this novel, and waiting months to get a reply that was nothing more than a few lines about how nothing had changed but they were “going to” do this or “planning on” doing that, we pulled the novel and decided to Indy publish. The third author that helped finish the writing decided they did not want to be a part of the Indy publishing so they removed themselves from the publishing of Hidden Design.  It took CK Stone and I about a year to rewrite (again), find an editor, find a cover artist, fully edit the book and prep it for ebook and print book. And here we are. The novel was just released on Oct 1, 2016. The entire experience has been a strange and sometimes frustrating journey but mostly a test in patience. Thankfully, I have a ton of patience and just as much perseverance. 
11. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
 CK: I think it’s the hardest part for both Tia and me — making the time to actually sit down, with nothing else to distract or pull us away and actually write—put words constructively on the page and have then tell the story you’re working on. Ideas are there without end, words exist in glorious abundance, time is the most limited resource we have to work with. 
[bctt tweet=”The hardest part of #writing is making time to sit down. @tiatormen #interview #author #ourwriteside #read” username=”OurWriteSide”]
12. What do you enjoy most about writing? Share your favorite work. 
Tia: Trying to make an idea convey enough emotion that the reader feels the experience. I especially like doing this with poetry. I think the fable that I wrote accomplishes this. It’s the only piece that is online and available to read. Mostly I write for myself so I do not have a lot published yet. 
A Fable of Enduring Love can be found on the Eternal Haunted Summer ezine
13. If you could have any fictional character(s), living or dead, on your survival team after an apocalypse, who would you choose and why?
CK: It would depend on what kind of an apocalypse. Is this a zombie apocalypse?  Maybe Jason dinAlt from Harry Harrison’s Deathworld books, he doesn’t have to deal with zombies in any of them, but he has quick reactions and thinks quicker. Political collapse and upheaval? Probably two of Heinlein’s characters: Lazarus Long and Friday. Ghosts, demons, and other supernaturals running amok? How about Harry Dresden and Alexia Tarabotti. Ice age? I have a feeling Tarzan would be a good choice. He has survived all sorts of climates, continents and cultures. Another choice would be Joseph Makatozi, from Louis L’Amour’s “Last of the Breed.” A Native American raised in the old hunting, trapping and surviving- because-you-can school by his grandfather and put to the ultimate test in Siberia. I think he’s got it going on, survival-wise. Any other apolcalypses? Ah, nuclear Armageddon. Let’s see…ah, who am I kidding, any character that would survive would be welcome on my team. 
book-promo-w_jude14. Which actors would you choose to play the main characters in your story?
Tia and CK: There are five characters we consider to be the “main” characters in the story. There are also about five other characters that would be considered main “supporting” characters. The five main characters are listed below, and we both agreed that these actors would be the best in the roles of those characters.
Mackenzie (Miiki) Daneen: Scarlett Johansson (Lucy)
Seth Harkinson: Josh Hartnett (Penny Dreadful)
Tatiana Eversleigh: Angelina Jolie (Wanted & The Accidental Tourist)
Vincent Jenoure: Stuart Townsend (Queen of the Dammed & League of Extraordinary Gentlemen)
Paul Wilkins: Mark Colton (Luke Cage)
15. What is your favorite escape from day to day living? 
CK: Is there really any escape? I read, I write, I cartoon from time to time, I take Tang Soo Do Karate, I practice Haidong Gumdo – a Korean sword martial art (I just tested for my black belt). I participate in a science fiction and fantasy organization, I work a day job and I have a life with Tia. I’ve been know to do an occasional part in an indy movie, or movie extra work. I don’t know that I have a favorite “escape.”
16. What are some ways in which you promote your writing? Do you find that these add or detract from your writing time? 
Tia: All promotion is distracting and takes time from writing. Indy publishing is not easy. It is tons of promotion, all the time, every day. I am always seeking new, viable outlets for promotion or writing author interviews, writing to blogger/reviewers or posting on one of my social media ports or working on a new graphic design ad, a video trailer, planning and setting up book events or making contact with local bookstores to try to set up readings and trying to keep up with news and changes in the publishing industry. 
[bctt tweet=”#Indy #publishing is not easy. @tiatormen #author #interview #ourwriteside #read” username=”OurWriteSide”]
17. Who are some of your favorite authors? What impact have they had on your writing? 
CK: My favorites. I may have to limit this. Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury, Rod Serling, Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. P. Lovecraft and his crew, Phillip Jose Farmer, David Brin, Robert Sawyer, then there’s Bernie Mojzes for some of the other side, and William H. Keith for tenacity. What impact have they had? They’ve all shown me different ways of constructing a story, describing a moment, putting words that make sense into the mouths of characters and keeping the reader intrigued until you’re ready to spring the surprise. They’ve shown me how to make a character sympathetic or villainous, depending on the needs of the story. And they inspire me to keep on writing. 
18. Do you know the secret to originality in writing? Would you share it?
Tia: I think the secret is to find as many life experiences as you can and then share them fully through your stories. Don’t hold back on putting your feelings into your words. If you worry about what others think about you (via your writing), you’ll never be free to be who you truly are. You will never please everyone. You could never possibly achieve that goal.  Worry about pleasing yourself first, and you will find those that like you for who you are and love your writing because you didn’t hold back. 
19. What are you currently reading? 
CK: I just finished Mary Soon Lee’s “Crowned – The Sign of the Dragon:Book 1” and Nancy Kress’ “Yesterday’s Kin.” I’m in the process of reading “The Flesh Made Word – Erotic Tales about Writing” edited by Bernie Mojzes and “Left-Hand Gods” by Jamie Lackie. And then I’m looking at “Barsk” by Lawrence Schoen.
20. What do you think is the future of reading/writing? 
Tia: My hope is that print books become more popular again. I have tried to learn to like eBooks, but just don’t care for them. I understand that they have their place and I know people who say they prefer them. I personally can’t get into electronic words on a screen, the way I do with a print book that I can hold in my hand and feel, smell, hear the page turning and experience as tactile sensations. For me, the experience of reading a good book is a lot more than just reading the words. 
There was something much more social about print books that you just don’t get with eBooks.  You know how you’re sitting in the Doctor office or waiting somewhere where it feels like you’ve been sitting there for days? Before eBooks, people carried print books with them. Other people in the room could see the cover of the book. If the cover looked intriguing, people might start a conversation with the reader and ask them what they were reading. They would happily show their book,  the cover,  you could read the blurb and discuss the story. And if the book sounded good, you could then go find it for yourself. There was an element of possible socialization when you took a print book out into the world. Now people are taking their eReaders, and those small, boring electronic devices offer nothing to anyone but that one person reading the files—no one else around them, is able to see the cover or wonder about the subject of the book. Ever stop someone who is reading an eBook to ask them what they are reading? They sigh because they know you’re going to want to see the cover image and that means loosing their place in the eFile and then having to go back through the menu to find it again. I’m sad that our society is becoming less social because everyone has their eyes glued to some type of electronic screen now. 
Thank you for the delightful interview!
Stephanie Ayers A published author with a knack for twisted tales, Stephanie Ayers is the Executive Creative Director of OWS Ink, LLC, a community for writers and readers alike. She loves a good thriller, fairies, things that go bump in the night, and sappy stories. When she is not writing, she can be found in Creative Cloud designing book covers and promotional graphics for authors.
Leave Comment
  1. 2 Comments

    Tia Tormen

    Thank you for posting our interview, Stephanie!

    1. 2 Comments

      Stephanie Ayers

      Thank you both for taking the time answer the questions so thoughtfully!


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